GAY TRAVEL GUIDE • A guide to some of NYC’s best LGBTQ+ friendly hotels in New York, from luxury hotel suites in Manhattan to the trendiest hotels with the best restaurants—and all those with special deals during NYC Pride
New York Pride is the world’s largest LGBTQ celebration. The annual June event commemorates the Stonewall riots which are credited with launching the modern LGBTQ rights movement. Because New York City is where so much of it began, the pride parade here is unlike anywhere else.
In 2019, celebrating 50 years since Stonewall, NYC Pride is the host for the global LGBTQ event World Pride. Four million tourists are expected to flock to the city meaning this year’s event is going to be crowded—but fun!
Find a cool hotel to stay during Pride in my guide to some of NYC’s best LGBTQ-friendly hotels.
8 LGBTQ-Friendly Hotels in NYC
Where to Stay in SoHo
SoHo is one of my favorite NYC neighborhoods. In Lower Manhattan, it’s easily accessible from most other boroughs by the subway, and the low buildings offer scenic skyline views.
SoHo is a lot of fun for its many bars and restaurants, too. Some of the hotel bars in SoHo are actually most popular with locals—though tourists and visitors are welcome too.
With one of Soho’s best rooftop bars, a hip lobby bar & café, and an excellent on-site restaurant called Harolds, the Arlo Hotel is one of the best places to stay during NYC Pride week.
Why during NYC Pride? As part of the World Pride Mural Project, the Arlo SoHo hotel has a large LGBTQ-themed mural on an interior wall of their garden. The mural celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ liberation.
Rooms are small at the hotel, but the on-site amenities are spacious. The rooftop bar attracts locals and tourists alike, and plenty of open space in the lobby makes it easy to meet others.
Where to Stay in Times Square
Times Square often invites screams and pain from New Yorkers. It’s crowded and loud and busy and chaotic, and while it’s essentially at the center of Manhattan, it’s relatively easy to avoid.
The thing is, though, it’s actually a pretty worthwhile spot. From Times Square, you’re close to all the Broadway theaters, the shopping (so much shopping), and that picture-perfect representation of New York, New York.
Even if you’ve seen it once, it’s still worth visiting Times Square again. And its central location and tall buildings make it one of the most convenient places to stay in all of New York City.
Located in the heart of Manhattan and just steps away from Times Square (literally), this luxury hotel has a great lobby bar (even if it’s windowless) where they host regular LGBTQ events.
For the past few years, W Hotels has cemented itself as an LGBTQ-friendly brand by working with LGBTQ creators and influencers as part of their “Queer Me Out” panels which take place in their properties around the world. The panels cover everything from dating to activism.
Why during NYC Pride? In addition to being an LGBTQ-friendly hotel (and walking distance to the gay Hells Kitchen neighborhood), you can even book a special rate during Pride Month for the opportunity to join them on their pride float during the NYC pride parade.
Service is excellent at the hotel and there are two on-site restaurants. Wifi comes with a charge except in the lobby where it’s free.
One of the newest hotels in NYC’s Times Square, the Aliz Hotel is also home to Dear Irving—the highest open-air hotel bar in all of Manhattan on the 40th and 41st floors (and with excellent cocktails, too!). And an awesome burger joint in the lobby called Farm to Burger.
Views from the rooms are great (south-facing rooms even have views of the Empire State Building) and despite the relative small size of the hotel, rooms are comfortably sized with great amenities. It’s a skinny but very tall building, so there might be the occasional wait for the elevator—but it’s worth it because the views are just so fantastic.
Why during NYC Pride? A useful pride guide exists on the hotel website detailing special LGBTQ+ pride deals.
Where to Stay in NoMad
NoMad is a funny name for a district of Manhattan. Essentially, “North of Madison,” it’s often called an up-and-coming neighborhood. Broadway slices through it and the district is just north of Madison Square Park.
The area was once a hotbed for budget retailers, but now with its prime location in Manhattan, there are a handful of luxury hotels and top-quality restaurants. On weekends, it’s actually pretty quiet because there aren’t quite as many tourists as in the Times Square district, and the office workers aren’t around.
In Manhattan’s NoMad district, The Redbury has a beautifully boutique design with musical design touches throughout (a nod to the nearby historic Tin Pan Alley). There are entrances to the hotel on both 29th and 30th streets, and bars on either end as well.
The Redbury’s location has a legendary feminist history, too. The building originally opened as The Women’s Hotel in 1903, the first hotel in New York to provide housing for professional women.
Why during NYC Pride? Special pride rates apply to the hotel including welcome drinks from the on-site Roman-style aperitivi bar, Vini e Fritti. The lobby restaurant, Marta, is a Roman-inspired pizzeria part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group—a prominent restaurant & bar purveyor across the city.
In addition to its excellent central location (convenient to the World Pride parade), The James NoMad hotel offers guests an evening happy hour with wine and cheese, and surprisingly spacious rooms. North-facing rooms get better city views, but the historic building is picturesque inside and out.
If you can get a reservation, try out the Scarpetta restaurant on the property. The Italian restaurant serves luxurious dishes and delicious homemade pastas and breads among other things.
Why during NYC Pride? The hotel is an official sponsor of World Pride, and, as such, is hosting a number of pride-focused events. In a partnership with Stonewall Community Foundation, the hotel lobby is home to a public exhibit honoring icons from the LGBTQ community with a focus son faces & places.
The hotel is also home to a retail pop-up shop from gender-neutral shop called FEIGN. And if all the public LGBTQ events on offer aren’t enough, guests at The James that book the special pride package get all sorts of special benefits, including 2(X)IST clothing.
Where to Stay in Midtown
Midtown is a pretty expansive term for Manhattan and covers a wide range of locations. But essentially, the Midtown area is part of the center city that doesn’t include Times Square or the Garment District, but rather a sliver of streets from Central Park down south to Bryant Park.
There are no shortage of skyscrapers in Midtown and lots of hotel offers.
The luxury hotel (part of the AccorHotels brand) knows style like few other hotel brands. Their NYC Sofitel property in Midtown has a beautiful lobby and an in-house restaurant Gaby Brasserie Française with a luxurious fine dining menu of French foods. (Don’t miss the French Onion Soup!)
Why during NYC Pride? Around the world, the Sofitel brand has long-catered to LGBTQ travelers. During Pride Month and through July, the NYC hotel is donating proceeds from its bar sales during Proud Hour every day 8-10pm to the Ali Forney Center which supports homeless LGBTQ youth.
As a special treat celebrating 50 years since Stonewall, the hotel also transformed one of its luxury suites into a show-stopping Cher themed suite decked out in memorabilia honoring Cher and The Cher Show.
The suite is available to book through mid-September and features original prints, photos by Hirschfeld, & fashion costumes from The Cher Show. Rates start at $499 per night. The Sofitel NYC regularly has Broadway-themed suites, making it a great option for theater-fans.
Where to Stay in Williamsburg (Brooklyn)
Williamsburg is where hipsters were born. Kind of. So it’s no surprise that it’s the hottest and hippest neighborhood to stay for tourists visiting New York City and Brooklyn, specifically. There are a handful of trendy hotels—each with their rooftop pools (which steep entry fees for non-guests).
Because of the relative ease to travel between Williamsburg and Manhattan via public transportation (at the über-hipster Bedford stop on the L train), the neighborhood is popular with lots of trendy hotels.
In the heart of hipster Williamsburg, The William Vale towers over the neighborhood with the absolute best view of Manhattan. The hotel has its own urban oasis with an elevated green park (with a burger food truck and plenty of street art) open to the public.
Why during NYC Pride? For Pride Month, the hotel is hosting a number of LGBTQ events, including a pre-pride pool party, LGBTQ movie nights, and there’s a pride-themed mural on the premises, too! Check the full William Vale calendar for event details.
Rooms at The William Vale are sleek and stylish, and stand out among other NYC hotel properties for their modern design that feels fresh. Every room on the property includes a balcony (book a corner suite for the best views) which just makes the whole experience that much more magical.
Even if you’re not planning to stay at the Brooklyn hotel, don’t miss the rooftop bar Westlight for an amazing 360-degree view of the New York City skyline.
Where to Stay in Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn and the DUMBO area near Brooklyn Bridge is where most hotels and many of the hotel chains have their Brooklyn properties. The area has been undergoing a lot of development in the past few years and it’s where most towers and tall buildings in the borough are located.
The Downtown Brooklyn area is one of the best places to stay in Brooklyn because it’s so convenient to Manhattan—just 10 to 15 minutes on the subway maximum to get to Lower Manhattan. Because there are so many tourist sites reachable from there, and of course the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, it’s a good base that’s going to be more affordable and spacious than staying at a Manhattan hotel.
Located minutes from the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO and the Barclays Center, The Tillary is downtown Brooklyn’s only true boutique hotel where guests can enjoy an authentic Brooklyn experience.
The lobby’s open, mid-century modern art deco design is instantly inviting—only helped by the oversized board games. On the second floor of the lobby, a small indoor bar is cozy and cool (with great twists on classic cocktails on the menu). But the real charm of the space is the massive outdoor patio—great for groups!
Why stay for NYC Pride? If you’re looking for a budget place to stay with great design and a location that’s easy to reach all the pride events, The Tillary is a great boutique hotel option.